Tiny Bubbles (Law is Transforming)
Recently I spoke at TyMetrix’s Executive Advisory Summit - a meeting of key clients, industry leaders and TyMetrix executives. We spent two days examining and sharing experiences of how legal services are being re-imagined, delivered and yes, staying the same. My remarks focused on the topic of legal transformation and the role that project management may be playing in changing the way legal services are delivered.
The key takeaway for me was the growing awareness of data within the profession. This would be an obvious takeaway given the sponsor is a leading legal data analytics company but that was not it. There was little talk of their product at all actually. Rather, the legal operations leaders who were in attendance spoke about the power of using their own data to help create transparency into their operations. “Transparency” . . . a scary word for law firms indeed. And these legal ops people were getting it – transparency that is – into how they spend their money and how their legal departments manage time, resources, etc. There was a divide within the room however. One group of in-house folks could be called activists – teaching, instructing and forcing their outside counsel to comply with their procedures and process. The other group was using their process and data only for their own internal purposes, allowing outside counsel to continue doing what they have been.
Now I have railed on about both data and the absolute need for in-house to take a more active role in changing law firm behavior in previous posts so I will not step into those waters again here. The good thing is that I do not have to. Change is here and growing. I do not have to convince anyone that the way law is practiced is changing and will do so more. It is happening. Slowly and invisible to those that choose to hide their eyes but it is unavoidable. The more the industry awakens the more rapidly the change will happen. Data is being used now more than ever by legal departments and that is a good thing. I do not care right now that some are using it to change others' behaviors, while others just their own. They are using it and that is good enough . . . for now anyway.
I do not have to stand and stare at the pot of water on the stove as I wait for it to boil. I see the tiny bubbles here and there and know that it is only a matter of time until it becomes a rolling boil.